tv Charlie Rose WHUT November 16, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EST
>> charlie: welcome to our program.m. we begin this evening with a conversation with ehud barak te minister of israel and iran, palestinian statehood andhe arab spring. >> we're strong economically, we're strong physically, we're the strongest country. and i feel we should have enough self confidence to look around openyed understand the complications and still to be there, to develop israel, to make it flourishingnd the issues that happen around our borders. at certain point to be able to decide what to do.
her circumstances to decide whatnot to do. >> charlie: we conclude this evening with a conversation about the future of iraq after the departure of the u.s. troops, joining me is tim remark owe of the "new york times," michael schmid of the "new york times" and jack healy of the "new york times." >> if you look at the troops debate. president ama came out and sa it was his decision. it really was the his decision it was an iraqi decision and an iraqi sovereignty. there's a question will we see that aft the troops leave again with iran will we see iraq assert itself nationalistically. >> charlie: two separate inquiries this evening, the future of israel and the future of iraq when we continue.
>> charlie: ehud barak is here. he's had a long history israeli politics. he seven as deputy prime minister. he's established the in thant's party. i'm please to do have him back at this table. welcome. let's talk first about iran. there's been a recent flurry because of the iaea report suggesting that iranians are closer to having a nuclear weapon and the missiles to deliver them. what's your assessment of where they are? >> they're exactly where the iaea report says. they were there for quite a long time. the real difference is for some reason he got the nobel peace prize but he never told the truth to the old people. and now came amano and he decided to tell blankly what the
experts found. it's quite sobering impact. it's clear they are determined to achieve the capability. none of these series of experiments that they were wanting -- always simultaneously explosions on heavy metals and certain other activities cannot be explained. but so they are pursuing a nuclear military capability. now it's not easy to see because time really has come to call a spade a spade. fit looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's a duck. they want to defy the whole world. >> charlie: if you were them, wouldn't you want a nuclear weapon. >> probably, probably. i know, i'm not saying they are doing it just because of israel.
they have their history of 4,000 years, they look around to see the indians are nuclear, the chinese are nuclear, pakistan is nuclear. not mention -- and they look west. saddam tried it. qaddi tried it. israel allegedly had but it doesn't matter with nuclear iran is a total different place. no way to hold any discipline about cooperation. >> charlie: you say to them we understand you have ambition to have a nuclear weapon. we understand you look around and you say the neighbors have nuclear weapons, israelis have nuclear weapons. they say we want to have nuclear weapons. you say i understand that but we can't vet let you have nuclear weapons because you're
different. >> i say we -- the world and united states of america being nuclear. they can't afford russia or china, even india. north korea i see the major mistake that it was allowed and i think if qaddafi would have been allowed to turn nuclear, no one would have dared torder the recent events. in fact they were asked one of your leaders previously what would have happened with the liberation of kuwait if saddam announced he had nuclear device it never would have happened. try to imagine what would happen bend any killing. >> charlie: what does he say when you asked him. >> he raised his hd this way
and say of course. >> charlie: they could not have stopped the iraqis going into kuwait if they had nuclear weapons. >> that's true. your governmentnd t british seized opportunity when qaddafi could be neutral for getting i no way to block the nuclear, probably even future government in egypt. that's really open and new round of nuclear arms race under much less responsible hands. probably in government headed by brotherhood in some places. you never know, it's too risky. but see beyond it. that you know, we set ideal or, changing interviews and no one took legal sangions against the iranians in order to block them. and they turn nuclear and five years from now in the
anniversary of the program you will find that you wake up some morning bahrain was overwhelmed two or three days by iranians and tan over. who in the world welcome to liberate them? and it's more sensitive even than the desert. it's the sort of 40% of the energy of the world that's the place where global terror is. i believe it's too dangerous. whatever kind of rife people can raise to convince the iranians to stop it. always to think what will happen if they already turned nuclear and now like north korea, they
feel that they enjoy full proof immunity. >> charlie: do you know there's a sanctions strategy that will force them to turn away? >> i intellectually know. >> charlie: what is it if not now. >> i tell you. >> charlie: if not now when are you going to use it. >> if it was the americans, the europeans, russia, china and india would have joined hands and tell them explicitly, we are going to bck any transaction, financial transaction with your central bank a any financial institutions and we ar going to launch a currency over the import and export of crude oil and distiltes. that would push the leadership to a corner where they have to
decide whether to continue or go into what comes with these decisions. i have no illusis. >> charl: you think that would do it. >> i'm convinced if a paralyzig crippling sanctions would come to, would materialize, they will have to stop it. but i have no illusions that it's going to work. i don't believe. >> charlie: take it one by one. europe means would do it or not do it. >> i don't want to go into, i believe if everyone was like your government or the french government, it could have been done. but that's not the mood in the world. the chinese, the russians, other plays have tir own reasons that only you can understand. i can't understand but i feel that it causes a major damage and it might ld to the
unacceptable situation. whic nowadays all the leaders of the world, they make statements, at least they abducted our phrase coin that we have to do it, it's urgent, no option should be removed from the table. but as of now, theyannot even bring enough political will to do it through the u.n. security or outside the u.n. security council. >> charlie: if that's not the enresult what's left. >> i might be interviewed again, if t only result is more conversaons around the world. i don't know. >> charlie: that doesn't work, there's no alternative but a military solution, correct? >> you know ... >> charlie: that's an easy question. >> yes it's an easy question but someone that should be contempt plated before answer it. i stick to the old usual answer.
we think any means should be used at the same time we recommend to our friends all around the world and we take it upon ourselves not to remove any option from the table. >> charlie: if in fact a military option is undertaken, can they destroy their nuclear program, militarily? >> i prefer not to answer this question during this interview. >> charlie: okay. i understand all tt and that's your responsibility as defense minister. but we speculate as to whether you can simply delay it but you can't terminate it. a military action can only delay it if it's directed against the facilities. that's part of the convention of wisdom. i think the defense secretary has said that sym self the former defense secretary bob gas said that. my other question though, and
just explain to me in terms of whatever construct you want to, are what happens on day two after there's a military attack against iran to destroy or impede their military, their nuclear program. what happens on day two and what happens if there's a response from hezbollah on to israel if there's a conventional wisdom that israel was responsible. what does tee three look like and are we looking at a middle east gng up in flames. if that happened and the thing that unleashes it would be a militaryttack against iran. >> for obvious reasons, i would not go into this in this interview. probably there will be a need in certain time in the future, i will reappear here. but let me tl when leaders around the world are saying loud and clear, we are determined to prevent iran from turning nuclear. and they say a nucle iran is
unacceptable. and especially when ty say once and again there are some twea afterhe iea report came to the pubc and is totally different from the nae report of 2007. when leaders of the world are saying it and when they repeat option should be removed from the table, i would assume that they really mean it. and that at certain levels in more than one capital in the world, people are considering what it means. i don't see that it deserves any further kind of dictating right now. but i c tell you that we're living in a tough neighborhood once called a jungle. i don't see that you experienced
a lot of days which totally quiet, no war around the globe, american participation for quite a long time. whoever thinks that by acqring iran turning nuclear and getting automatic in unity thatstems out of such capability, the world will be a simple place to live in or a place where the risk of finding yourself in a real clash with them is a ttle bit simpler. it's totally wrong. that's not the case. we have to consider in a solid contemplative two or three steps ahead without a doubt of self delusion and with clear lessons
of what happened in the generation. >> charlie: let's switch to the palestinian conflict. where is that? you had this effort to get statehood going through the security council. there is some speculation that they cannot get nine votes and the united states will have to veto it. is that your reading where they are. >> yes. the attempt of which the security council failed, it failed as a result of erican huge diplomatic effort. and the fact that this administration as some people question their commitment to israel, i think the oppose showed the readiness and signalled the readiness to veto the necessy. that's something i would not have taken for grand and we highly appreciate it. >> charlie: so you're saying the obama administration contrary to the opinion of some people in the american jewish community that this administration has not been pro israel but they have been very pro israel and very helpful to
israel at important moments. and you underlying -- you are saying that or you're not saying that. >> i'm saying very clearly that this administration in regard to israel's security and traditionally supported. each and every american president throughout the generation. but this, under this administration we went even further into a clear deep, deep commitment to the security of israel and beyond. i see them ready, their administration ready to veto steps whic some go ainst or perceived by us being against the interest of israel. i still remember very vividly, weekend night, quiet dramatic one and hundreds of demonstrators entered into the
embassy. it was, we went in many channels but one of them was the administration. >> charlie: you called the defense minter. >> and he called president obama. and the americans put its weigho make sure that it will end up properly. so i would not under estimate the commitment not to israel, not to the target. i should remind that for those who think that this administration is -- go and ask osama bin laden, go and ask the jacomes. go ask the other quiet pretentious leaders whom you cannot contact today because of the readiness of this administration to take action.
not just to talk but at the right moment to take action. and i spent my lifetime in uniform not in tv interviews but doing things with my own hands. i know to appreciate this. >> charlie: one new additional wrinkle to all this, additionalevelopment is that it appears that president abbas is meeting with mbers hamas and bringg those two distinct palestinian competitive institutes together. is that a good thing? >> i'm not sure. we have a lot of doubts about the hamas. the hamas, in order to become a legitimate partner orlayer in this peace process should actually have demands namely to recognize israel, to deny and to live behind terror and accept or recognize all previous
agreements that have been achieved. that's something which is not together into effect. what's the difference between the present situation, what we had some 12 years ago when i said the prime minister with clinton and tried to push the proposal that might strike a deal. one of the real differences is that hamas, a terrorist organization that says explicitly they want israel disappear. something that has been common with the iran leadership. they're there and they control half of the palestinian people. so you ask okay, assume that trust had beenesumed between the quartet, president obama and we can strike a deal. what do we do with it, put it on a shelf. who will arrange -- >> charlie: all the better for them to have an agreement
and speak from one voice is it not? >> technically it could be -- >> charlie: israel has often said we have nobody to negotiate with. we he nobody to bargain with. if there is a unite front on the palestinian side why isn't that better? >> i don't buy that we don't have someone to talk to. i believe that we are not supposed to elect a palestinian president. it's up to them, they elected -- i can't man, i had the experience with a guy can't man people in the future will be wealthy. there are two very good people. he's an elected president and fayad, the premier. israel is ironically enough if we try to help him, we might damage him. but the world has to help fayad to push his bottom p -- up and
come intonegotiatio that's the real issue. hamas wants to establish this unity government at the expense of probably sending fayad back home. that's a imagine damage. to the extent i can judge fayad is something very good. >> charlie: he created a civil -- >> the real foundation of the president waiting so to speak of the palestinian entity. both in the market as well as in the political world is what together will accomplish namely putting terror behind it, very quiet, well it could be a very quiet situation. that should continue but we cannot accept an agreement where we have -- and 10,000, that's the number now in gaza, are keep
shooting in discriminately over the heads of others. >> charlie: let's establish this, though, okay. is it hamas doing that or somebody else? >> today a few hours ago there was some hamas probably crazy guys. it's a hamas guy and probably now while we are talking order some attacks on some installations of hamas. basically they are in control so they have responsibility. if you have a neighbor, whoever choose one of them who would be launching rockets daily into your cities, you would not ask who exactly did it. you expect whoever is in control there to make, to put an end to it immediately. charlie: everybody would awfully -- agrees with that but you got to stop the missiles being shot at you. >> everybody agrees in principle
and everyone critical. not everyone. criticize israel when we take the proper action to put an end. >> charlie: that's the definition to what the proper action is too. there's a definition what the proper action and lots of people in israel had trouble with the invasion of gaza as you know. >> and they used double standards. they do not ask themselves honestly what would have happened if your family or your kids, if you have, were attacked this i with a. i was voted american candidate for president named barack obama and he gave interviews to american tv stations when all these rockets. and he id if my two daughters would have been living there, are i would do whatever it takes to put an end to it. >> charlie: who isn't say that. tell me who doesn't say. you says not everyone agrees. who doesn't agree. united states agrees? france, does france agree?
>>o few blocks from here to the u.n. general awe -- assembly. you can fine more than -- >> charlie: you think israel should not respond. >> no, israel should not respond in any way which iseffective. we a not talking abo response and a march to some embassy. we're talking about action that aimed a those terrorists and called them and we are kind of ctical. >> charlie: invasion of gaza an appropriate response in your judgment. >> if worse comes to worse, i don't want to predict if hamas will keep acting or allowing actis in israel that will deteriorate the launching of rockets into the population nothing could be removed from the tablencluding much wider
operations. charlie: it was said to me in damascus if the occation stopped, the resistance stops. do those words have any meaning to you? >> it's probably have certain meaning under some certain groups within the perconstitute. if you just read the english translation or the charter of hamas, you would understand that he just deceits you. what is written there is a clear manifesto that israel should somehow disappear. some artificial, it should disappear it probably take tactics because the world is not empty, there are people like charlie rose who raise tough quesons if you announce explicitly y are aiming at just eliminating israel. butamas plans to do it
gradually but never losing sight of terror, not recognizing israel and not accepting. >> charlie: what shld happen. >> we should find a way to push forward, to help push forward, we cannot do it alone, the bottom effort of fayad to create normalcy in the west bank, we should find a way to keep standing firm against the terror of hamas. and we should go with with a genuine to try. if we cannot reach an agreement and probably that's th case we should find the entering steps that should be taken. you can find some examples in the roadmap and other places but stop this blanket. when the palestinia tell you that israels -- that's propaganda. >> charlie: are you building an east jerusalem.
>> of course. el captain, we did not bring within the suburbs. we bring in the empty areas or jewish neighborhoods. let me tell you when i was sitting with clinton in the negotiatio that failed, we were building in four times the pace at whi we are building now. when it came so close with some maps on the table -- to reach an agreement, we were building about twice -- >> charlie: stop. this is a very important point. you're saying that an issue of settlement we were prepared to negotiaten agreement and essentially had an agreement that seemed to settle most of the issues and there were settlements being built at that moment and they were not an impediment to an agreement. >> yes, i said it.
the reality is that you know after 44 years, their whole jewish settlements in the whole together doesn't cover even 2%. if you take 10% you have a good settlement bck. it's not a problem. >> charlie it is a problem and the palestinians -- >> it became a problem because withouthinking farsightedly enough, some leaders donated the formula that not a single brick should be put. that's a littl bit too far from the standard. we're not ready to say we'll be less palestinian than some. >> charlie: how much differen was there between what you negotiated that camp david which arafat refused to step forward with negotiated
with -- were they essentially the same deal. >> from disactual it's the same. and if we really have to reach any agreement in the future -- >> charlie: it's the same deal was presented to them -- >> basically it's the only possibility only if it takes -- that will be the deal. >> charlie: stay with me. with netanyahu accept that deal. >> i don't know. >> charlie: the former prime minister was prepared, you were prepared to accept that. i'm asking you if benjamin netanyahu would accept that deal. >> i tell you. those two pages in history are written. we did not write them to say we did nothing, it happened. now we enter under this government. it's a right wi government. still this government in speech
two spades for two nations. >> charlie: but he also meant that two nations, he also says -- >> he repeated it in the congre. if you look carefully into the wording, there are many flexibilities. i told paris recently, that if i look literally in what was said -- i don't see the big difference between what he said and what we pushed 15 years ago. of course there's difference of 15 dwraryz. i see that -- >> charlie: on the points of right of return and jerusalem. >> it's technical and political. you cannot expect from israeli leader to expose positions before he knows that there will be any agreement before he has.
it's like a political. i would not expect him to expose position. i can tell you that i would not have in this government if my belief was an agreement is not possible with this government. but i can tell you that our consideration for security for example, just -- because i ordered israel full pull out from lebanon. we got there 50,000 now covering, and missis. shimon ordered full pull out from gaza. everything that we can bring, we expected to be tranquility there. now they got 10,000 rockets. it's that simple and i fully justify netanyahu that strong security arrangements will come and we see the readiness and
accept in the eyes -- before he starts to talk about major concessions on the border. and i he want to repeat it. i don't see that anyone can know or should know in advance what he will say about what's the kind of confessions mig be rey. >> charl: it's important for you to say there's no difference and you believe that netanyahu would accept that kind of deal. >> no, i didn't say it. >> charlie: you didn't say. >> no, i didn't say. i say the test will come only when there is a genue negotiation with condition whe it's clear that the security interest of israel which exposed to be more sensitive to realitie then people could have expected, would be taken care of in a systematic manner. only then you will know how ready to go. >> charlie: you know how many intervie you've done about this with netanyahu.
netanyahu was here when he came to the u.n. same table same question. only he sat in this chair rather than in that chair. so i asked him, i asked you, i asked the boss, i asked arafat, asked everybody. what is a form law that will guarantee -- formula that will guarantee israel's security? what do they have to agree to so that israel's security. because you know at the other end the arab states are ready to come in. >> certa elements are known or many stitches and many statements of israel. we expect the major settlement blocks where the suburbs in jerusalem be part of israel. namely within the border and it will still leave a contiguous area for the palestinns. we expect security arrangements
to be set. the state to be neutralized and say loud and clear that we expect a long term israeli military presence along the jordan river. >> charlie: they well agree with that, a long term military presence along -- >> along the jordan river. >> charlie: along the bank. >> no, no no. it was saved in previous years that we need israeli presence, israeli presence in the jordan valley. that's not exactly the same. i didn't see any response for the palestinian side. i didn't see any response. i think that these are extremely able demands, veryenerous, in fact taking certain time of risk that we cannot fully answer.
no one can tell you honestly that there will be no rockets and missiles coming there the west bank once it will be established. you can not even promise us, no one can give us guarantee that ten years after -- >> charlie: that's something you will accept in order to get -- >> we accept. i'll show you we expect, helmut was ready to accept. we cannot say he found readiness on the other side to leave behind all the conditions and sit down in a closed room, probably farther back from the public eye. probably was out even calling it but do something actively in orr to which a full agreement or cultivated into an agreement that will gradually lead toward full. i don't believe it's honest or
fair to describe netanyahu's government as the obstacle for peace. that's not to -- >> charlie: was it for the french president to say netanyahu is a liar? >> i felt uneasy bit. i know enough about human behavior to assume that such exchange something takes place but i think it's not fair and it shouldn't happen. >> charlie: is a one-state solution the worse thing that could happen to israel. >> that's probably good competition for the first place. it's extremely bad. >>harlie: because. >> because israel is establishe to become a zionist state. all the respect for minorities
and others but basically it's the jewish dream to come bac to our place and i think that it's, i take it for granted that the only solution is to delineate certain lines within which we'll have a solid jewish majority for generations to come. palestinian entity that was all doubts that you might carry with yourself about what will happen if ten years from now hamas will be elected in the free election. it's still better than the prospect of communities coming together or not to mention other examples. >> charlie: exactly. finally though, do you feel that the arab spring, where it's going and whatever as we hear more and more understanding of
the expansion of the islamist parties. is it a developing negative trend for israel is history working against you? so that there's a ticking clock. >> no. i never under the illusion about our situation. i told you i used to call it a villa in the jungle. but it's interesting development moving forward into lightenment into other worlds. i think it's totally speaking an extremely moving movement. the effect of other people's standing on their feet started to demand basic human rights which are taken for granted in north america. that's really moving but it will take a long history before it will materialize. they're not right for
jeffersonian democracy but we have to be a self, we have to develop a sense of self coidence, self reliance, developing friendships alliances around the world, reducing tensions wherever we k palestinians with egyptians with whoever. and focus on the most important issues, ting to move forward. you know the israeli country is not the reason for this arab spring but it is used in a sophisticated manner as an excuse to nurtu the animosity toward israel. but they should have their own interest not because o the arab spring but independently o it. and we have to find ways to iron out the difference. turkey doesn't serve neither of us. turkey's not an enemy of israel. we were very close friends. we're not close friends for the
time being but we suld find ways to iron this out. and if we will, we are strong economically, we are strong physically, we are the strongest country, thousand miles around jerusalem. and i feel we should have enough self confidence to look around, open eyed to understand the complications and still to be there to develop israel to make it flourishing and to act on any issue which happened besides our or around our border. at certain point by being able to decide what to do. iean other circumstances to decide what not to do. >> charlie: thank you for coming. it was a pleasure. >> thank you. >> charlie: president oma announced all u.s. trooptz will leave iraqi by 2011. a nine year war that climbed the lives of more than 4400 u.s.
troops. there is concern about iraq's security and their influence. joining me how are correspondencents om t "new york times tim arango, michael schmid and jack healy. now you're here and i'm pleased to have you back and now i have the three of you here. what's the big question in iraq today. >> the big question is what has iraq become. the key point now is we're going to see what a post america iraq looks like much quicker than anybody thought. a the troop debateunfolded over the fall after you and i spoke it became clear that they could not get a deal for immunity for troops to stay. and despite the fact that just about every politician and military commander involved in that discussion did not think it was a good idea for the troops to leave. they couldn't get a deal. so now we're in a situation where the troops are going to be leaving sooner than anybody thought so we're going to have a chance to see what iraq has become on its own. >> charlie: what are the
options. what kind of considerations are there? >> if you look at security, the troops haven't been doing a lot for security for a long time. just the argument their mere presen has been sort how far a buffer or a way to keep violence down. the other question is how does ma'am key govern after the american troops leave. what are t loyalties of the security forces. those are the big questions we'll see unfold next year. >> charlie: do we expect toity a fight for the lack of a better word, the soul of iraq? in terms of competing factions who want to rule the country? >> there's this constant back and forth and struge between the suny's and the shi'a's. rumors about votes and no confidence and all this stuff. and the u.s. for a while has keep the it in check. they try and involve themselves and the ambassador will do that and the fact that they had
troops there and gave them diplomatically more power. now the troops are leaving iraq is less likely to listen to the u.s. when there's a bomb that goes off in a sunni neighborhood and creates some sectarian tensions. >> i think to a certain extent th is sort of fight for the soul of iraq has already begun. there was an iraqi official who was in new york recently and gave a talk at which he said in iraqi, you have to eat them for lunch before they eat you for dinner. and i think you will start to see some of the fight between ethnic groups and sectarian groups play out in contentious cities which is this very oil-rich area that the kurds and arabs have fought for many
years. certain downs like internal borders in iraq where there have been fights over who controls these areas whether the are sunni or shi'a in this city where their kurdish flags are flng or whatever. >> i don't think that even the surge worked i don't think that meant there was any real reconciliation. i think it was right after the announcement about the troops that they would not be here. one of the first things maliki did was round up about 600 former baptist officials and that created so much tensions among the sunni who still feel disenfranchised. and that's one sign that america still needs to have a robust for instance to maintain some sort of sectarian camaraderie. >> charlie: and the iranian influence is? >> it's pretty hard to see. the american officials worry bit all the time and people in this country nted us to stay there
save that if we had kept the military there then we could have pushed back on iran even more. tim's dealt with this a lot. he did a whole piece on this or whatever but it's kind of, iraqis do t want to be proxy state of iran. they want to be iraqis and they don't want to listen to the iranians and you know they will have -- >> charlie: it's human nature. >> yes. ey will have a relationship with the iranians because they have a massive border with them but at the end of the day they don't really want to listen to them and they're not going to be pushed around by them. >> i don't think anybody can deny that they're verylose politically simply because so many of the leaders when they were in exile under saddam they lived in iran and they had those relationships and iran is pretty influential. religiously i think sometimes it's overstated because people will look at the fact they're both shi'a and say they that gives them this religious linkage. it's competing versions of shi'a. there's nobody in iraqi that want to emlate the clerical rule
style of iran. when you get to the grass roots level and when you get to -- >> charlie: so nobody wants to become another iran. >> no, i don't believe so at all. i don't believe so at all. and the other counter argument to the iranian influence thing is if you look at the troops debate, you know, president obama came out and said it was his decision. it really was the his decision it was an iraqi decision and an assertion of iraqi sovereignty. there's a question will we see that after the troops leave again will we see iraq assert itself nationalistically to be on their own. >> charlie: to show it's not a tool of iran. >> exactly. >> charlie: is he a factor >> of course. i think that's absolutely one of the most intriguing questions is about the next years. solder was a king mak after the next round of elect shnlsz. he and the kurds were able to, this ruled and other motherly got behind the iraqi government.
they did really well in the elections d they had also obviously opposed any kind of extension of the u.s. presence there. but with the u.s. withdrawing, i think e solders have to show they can either govern -- >> charlie: they still have the weapons, the militia still have the weapons. >> they have to provide for the iraqi people. they have to show the iraqi people they can actually do something. are they following the hezbollah model, can they get stuff done or are they trouble makers. >> becoming short of a state within a state. they ha to show the people that they can provide services and whatever. because i don't think the iraqis have any patients for militias running around. we've seen enough of it. >> charlie: where is the ayatollah, what role es he play? >> that's going to be one of t big unfolding stories o the future. he's very old an there's always
mors that he's not well. but he has a monumental amount of influence over the shi'as in iraqi and the shi'as around the world. he represents that anti-iranian syst of staying away from politics. we don't hear much from him but when he saks he gets things done. it will be interesting to hear what he says if he does say anythi after the troop >> charlie: who are the players we ough to be looking at whether it's a country or whetr it's an individual. >> syria is a huge issue there right now. we saw this week when the arab league voted on syria, iraq was the only abstention. they seem to have a schizophrenic relationship. so many of the bombers and fighters were coming into syria and maliki would speak to them in public. then they are welcoming, maliki's welcoming syrian businessmen. some people interpret that as
iraqi trying to follow iran. another interpretation is they're just so nervous about sectarian warfare spilling over into iraq. >> so far it hasn't spilled over. they were afraid this was going to unleash more fighters coming in or whatever. it looks like they have better chance. the foreign fighters are way down. when they are suicide bombers in iraq, they are iraqis and not foreners. >> charlie: that's by iraqis. >> correct. >> charlie: but bombs are comingrom iran or are they coming with assistance of any kind. >> there's two threats to iraqi security. it's al-qaeda on one hand which has no connection to iran and is largely sunni dominated and then you have the shi'a militia which are heavily influence by iran. the al-qaeda has left the united states alone for a few years and
their goal is just to undermine the iraqi government. what we saw this year was the shi'a militia going after the u.s. and continuing to rocket them. and that -- >> charlie: the shi'a militia going after the united states. >> the americans in iraqi. in june, over a dozen troops died because these shi'a militia, one is tied to solder and iran and they were attacking the american-backed bases. >> what do they do after. do they turn -- i mean they split off from the government. do the attack the government. >> charlie: so what would you say today is the attitude, after this long war that the united states brought to their land, what is the affidavit -- attitude towards america. >> irfeel it's so conflicted on every level there. >> charlie: you can't almost define it. >> there's a few different threads. of the troop debate i was very
surprised how muted the reaction was to it. there was very little celebrations in the street. people felt some pride getting rid of what they call the occupier but there's wt i feel a lot of anxiety. right before that debate i was at a symposium pat a university in baghdad and it was about the u.s. and it was about the future of iraqi and the troops debate. i'm sitting in there in this room and some of the older professors are up there railing against america, railing against immunities, the immunity issue for troops became a huge issue there. afterwards, i'm leaving and a student takes me aside and he goes, here's a word i won't use in english to say what he thought of the professors. and then he was asking me, i need your help to get to america. i like heavy metal music i like rap music and i'm ostracized. so you get these conflicting views and lot of it's generational. >> charlie: and cultural. >> they don't believe the united states is leaving. if you talk to the average iraqi
and you say all these troops are coming out at the end of the year. they said no that's not going to happen because there's a lot of conspiracy theories there. they've had all the different forcesdictators and such over all these decades a they just don't think -- >> charlie: pause they want a part of the o money or something like that? >> it's everything, you know. it's everything. the oil, it's iran, it's united states wants 4,000 troops there. they spend trillions of dollars. why would they just get up and leave. but it actually says something by the ft that t united stes is leavi. it says okay, we're out, you know, we're not we're not going to be occupiers forever. >> do you still have people say look in the end in iran, in iraqi people you talk to, i'm glad notwithstanding all the pain and all the suffering it was worth it to overthrow saddam husain. >> the other thing you feel when
you talk to people is if you listed all the traassachusetts that iraq has faced in the last 30 years i don't think the iranian war ranks at the top. but also the period of the 91 uprising after that and slaughtering so many people under saddam. that's o o the problems they never had a real reconciliation process like south africa did. >> it was incredibly crippling. life before the invasion and the years leading up to it were teible for the country. the economy was terrible there was no medicine and the food was crippling. >> charlie: so what happens to your coverage? are you guys going to be thereas focus on iran and iraq, iraq in this case as it winds down are you going to be moving to another place.
>> we're there. we just find a new lease. >> crlie: so you're there to answer all these questions. >> because i think what i'm looking forward to is after the troops withdraw it only becomes an iraq story it's not an american story what doesraq become and then we can see what the true legacy of the war. there's so much unfinished business and the real legacy depends on what happens in iraq pie iraqis in the next years. >> charlie: thank you for coming us. >> thank you for having us. >> charlie: it's a pleasure having you here. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.g